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Nadia Brown

Professor of Government and Director of Women's & Gender Studies, Georgetown University
Areas of Expertise:

About Nadia

Brown's research interests lie broadly in identity politics, legislative studies, and Black women's studies. She specializes in Black women’s politics and holds a graduate certificate in Women's and Gender Studies. While trained as a political scientist, her scholarship on intersectionality seeks to push beyond disciplinary constraints to think more holistically about the politics of identity.

No Jargon Podcast

In the News

Opinion: "Happy 50th Anniversary, Women’s Legislative Caucuses! Here’s How To Be Even More Effective," Nadia Brown (with Anna Mitchell Mahoney and Christopher J. Clark), The Washington Post, February 10, 2022.


"The Black Women of the US Congress: Learning from Descriptive Data" (with Nadia Brown and Christopher J. Clark). Journal of Women, Politics & Policy 43, no. 3 (2022): 328-346.

Shares details about the 52 Black women who have navigated this raced and gendered institution (Hawkesworth 2003) since 1969.  Discusses data on these Black congresswomen, including, but not limited to, their educational attainment, occupations prior to serving in Congress, and ties to Black Greek Letter organizations. Argues that this descriptive data will prompt new questions for legislative scholars and open conversations about disciplinary norms and assumptions which may need revision in light of Congress’ increasing diversification.

"Intersectional Presentations: An Exploratoratory Study of Minority Congresswomen's Websites Biographies" (with Sarah Allen Gershon). Du Bois Review 13, no. 1 (2016): 85-108.

Seek to fill the void in studies examining the ways that gender and racial identities shape elected officials' appeals to constituents by examining differences in presentation styles among Latina and African American congresswomen, their Anglo female counterparts, and minority male peers

Distinct Identities: Minority Women in U.S. Politics (edited with Sarah Allen Gershon) (Routledge Press, 2016).

Seeks to present studies of minority women that highlight how they are similar and dissimilar to other groups of women or minorities, as well as variations within groups of minority women. 

"Ratchet Politics: Moving Beyond Black Women's Bodies to Indict Institutions and Structures" National Political Science Review 17, no. 2 (2015): 45-56.

Seeks to shift the interpretation of the word to the very "ratchet" institutions which enact a kind of violence in the lives of Black women, rendering them invisible and at times, leading to what some deem "ratchet" reactions.

"Sisters in the Statehouse: Black Women and Legislative Decision Making" (Oxford University Press, 2014).

Addresses this gap - differences among Black women in office - by utilizing humanistic inquiry to examine the connection between descriptive and substantive representation in the case of Black women legislators.